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Almost half of Bayern Munich’s aging squad will be over 30 by season’s end

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While the German national team has been forced to get younger by recent setbacks, Bayern Munich has yet to rejuvenate its squad.

Netherlands v Germany - UEFA Nations League A Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Let’s count the number of over-30’s on our hands, shall we? I know that youth isn’t everything, but both Bayern Munich and Germany are beginning to date themselves.

Starting with Bayern, the club has seemed to hold on to the days of 2013 and never let go. This season will be six years since Die Roten tasted victory in Wembley. Looking at Bayern’s current roster, these are the players that will turn 30 before the UCL final in 2019.

Bayern Players Over 30 (by June 1st)

Player Birthday Age (on 6/1)
Player Birthday Age (on 6/1)
Franck Ribery April 7, 1983 36
Arjen Robben January 23, 1984 35
Rafinha September 7, 1985 33
Manuel Neuer March 27, 1986 33
Sandro Wagner November 29th, 1986 31
Sven Ulreich August 3, 1988 30
Robert Lewandowski August 21, 1988 30
Javi Martinez September 2, 1988 30
Jerome Boateng September 3, 1988 30
Mats Hummels December 12, 1988 30

By mid-September, Thomas Muller will have joined the list.

This is a major problem with this team. I’m not saying that every player immediately gets worse the moment he turns 30, but the overall age of the squad can rapidly become a major weakness.

This table consists of six players that were consistent starters last season. It also consists of our best backup options at goalkeeper, full back, defensive midfield, and striker. The players are getting older and not better (see Ribery, Martinez, Wagner). While younger players like Alphonso Davies, Kingsley Coman, and Serge Gnabry help, there are big differences in positions like center-back. This list contains all of Bayern’s current starters at CB except for Niklas Sule and that’s concerning. Bayern need to be buying younger and better talent to replace the old guard in a few years time.

The oldest lineup Bayern has fielded this season was 30 years and four months old, making it the second oldest in the club’s history behind Felix Magath’s 05/06 team. The average age of Ajax Amsterdam, who left the Allianz Arena elated by a 1-1 draw? 21.4 years old.

Bayern is also significantly older on average than their league competition. The average age of Bayern’s Bundesliga squads so far is 27.7 years old, the oldest in the league. Compare that to the five teams ahead of Bayern, and you see that their competition is significantly younger. Dortmund (24.8) Leipzig (23.9) Mönchengladbach (26,0) and Hertha Berlin (25,2) are all under 27 years of age. The only two teams who pass that mark are Bayern and Werder Bremen (27,1).

For comparison: Germany

The German national team is facing a similar problem but has been forced to adjust. The World Cup roster had over-30 players like Mario Gomez (32), Neuer and Sami Khedira (31). Neuer provided his routine brilliance in between the posts, but neither Gomez nor Khedira managed to provide any positive contributions to the team. Since the horrendous play in Russia, two players, Jerome Boating and the now-retired Mesut Ozil, have turned 30. From now to New Year’s Eve 2019, three more players will hit the milestone: Mats Hummels, Marco Reus and Thomas Muller, with Toni Kroos not far behind.

In terms of average age, the Germans were better than most World Cup teams, with an average age of 27.1 years. Since World Cup rosters are supposed to represent the country’s best players, it’s natural that some will be over 30 years old (or 45, if your’e Egypt). Each of the World Cup semifinalists had a squad age of under 28 years old, with France and England being the second and third youngest respectfully. However, teams like Colombia, Uruguay, Spain, Brazil and Argentina all passed this mark.

The average age of the German national team has dropped with the selection of younger players. In the most recent lineup against the Netherlands, Neuer was the only player over 30. This trend should continue, as younger players like Timo Werner, Leroy Sane, Julian Brandt, Jonathan Tah and Thilo Kehrer have been selected for Die Mannschaft.

Since Bayern Munich does not have the luxury of simply calling up replacements, the club will have to make serious moves in the upcoming transfer windows if the management wants to rejuvenate the squad before it’s too late.